Jin-Chong Tan BEng MA MEng PhD (Cantab)

Professor of Engineering Science (Nanoscale Engineering)

Tutorial Fellow at Balliol College

TEL: 01865 273925
  • Biography
  • Research
  • Publications
  • Teaching
  • DPhil Opportunities


Professor Jin-Chong Tan has a BEng in Mechanical Engineering (Malaysia, 1999) and an MEng in Materials Engineering (Singapore, 2001). In 2005, he obtained a PhD in Materials Science from Cambridge University, where he studied lightweight composite materials constructed from stainless steel fibres.

He moved to Oxford University in September 2012 to take up a University Lectureship (Associate Professorship) in Mechanical Engineering, together with a Tutorial Fellowship in Engineering Science at Balliol College. In July 2018, he became a full professor and was conferred the title of Professor of Engineering Science (Nanoscale Engineering).

Journals and Conferences

  • Symposium Organiser, EUROMAT 2017: European Congress and Exhibition on Advanced Materials and Processes, Thessaloniki, Greece.
  • Chair of Symposium B7 on “Hybrid and MetalOrganic Framework Materials”
  • Scientific Programme Committee, WIRMS 2017: 9th International Workshop on Infrared Microscopy and Spectroscopy with Accelerator Based Sources, Oxford UK
  • Guest Editor, CrystEngComm Themed Issue, Vol.17 No.2 (2015) “MOFs & Hybrid Materials: From Crystal Engineering to Practical Applications”

In the Media

Research Interests

Professor Jin-Chong Tan leads the Multifunctional Materials & Composites (MMC) Laboratory, where his group develops porous metal-organic frameworks, multifunctional thin films, polymer membranes and bespoke nanocomposite systems targeting real-world applications. Recent research interests include nanoengineering of novel lightemitting materials and tuneable nanocomposites for disruptive sensing technologies.

Their approach involves the application of cutting-edge experimental techniques, such as atomic force microscopy, nanoindentation, vibrational spectroscopy and imaging, in combination with theoretical modelling and quantum mechanical calculations on state-of-the-art supercomputers.

The group has strong links with the Diamond Light Source and the ISIS Neutron & Muon Spallation Source in Harwell campus, which are big science facilities in the UK. They use high-intensity synchrotron and neutron irradiation to probe the structure-property relations of new functional materials and complex composite systems.

Group Website

Current Projects


Nanoengineering and processing of metal-organic framework composites for photonic sensors.


Next-generation metal-organic framework materials: from fundamentals to advanced applications


Thermo-mechanical properties and engineering performance of mixed-matrix membranes integrating metal-organic frameworks


Imaging and high-resolution spectroscopy of metalorganic frameworks using synchrotron irradiation


Uncovering the low-energy lattice dynamics in nanoporous materials via high-resolution neutron spectroscopy


A.K. Chaudhari and J.C. Tan*, "Mechanochromic MOF nanoplates: spatial molecular isolation of light-emitting guests in a sodalite framework structure", Nanoscale, 10, 3953-3960 (2018). [DOI:10.1039/C7NR09730A]

Y. Sun, Y Li, and J.C. Tan*, “Framework Flexibility of ZIF-8 Under Liquid Intrusion: Discovering Time-Dependent Mechanical Response and Structural Relaxation”, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics (PCCP), 20, 10108-10113 (2018). [DOI: 10.1039/C8CP00447A]

L. Mizzi, E.M. Mahdi, K. Titov, R. Gatt, D. Attard, K.E. Evans, J.N. Grima, J.C. Tan*, "Mechanical Metamaterials with Star-Shaped Pores Exhibiting Negative and Zero Poisson's Ratio", Materials and Design, 146, 28–37 (2018). [DOI:]

T. Tian, Z. Zeng, D. Vulpe, M. Casco, G. Divitini, P. Midgley, J. Silvestre Albero, J.C. Tan, P. Moghadam, and D. Fairen-Jimenez, "A sol–gel monolithic metal–organic framework with enhanced methane uptake", Nature Materials, 17, 174–179 (2018). [DOI:]

K. Titov, Z. Zeng, M.R. Ryder, A.K. Chaudhari, B. Civalleri, C.S. Kelley, M.D. Frogley, G. Cinque, and J.C. Tan*, "Probing Dielectric Properties of Metal-Organic Frameworks: MIL-53(Al) as a Model System for Theoretical Predictions and Experimental Measurements via Synchrotron Far- and Mid-InfraRed Spectroscopy", The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters (JPCL), 8, 5035–5040 (2017). [DOI:]

A.K. Chaudhari, H.J. Kim, I. Han, and J.C. Tan*, "Optochemically Responsive 2D Nanosheets of a 3D Metal-Organic Framework Material", Advanced Materials, 29, 1701463 (2017). [DOI:]

K. Titov and J.C. Tan*, "Facile Patterning of Electrospun Polymer Fibers Enabled by Electrostatic Lensing Interactions", APL Materials, 4, 086107 (2016). [DOI:]

J.C. Tan* and B. Civalleri, "Metal–Organic Frameworks and Hybrid Materials: From Fundamentals to Applications", CrystEngComm, Guest Editorial for Themed Issue on MOFs and Hybrid Materials, 17, 197-198 (2015). [DOI: 10.1039/C4CE90162B]

M.R. Ryder, B. Civalleri, T.D. Bennett, S. Henke, S. Rudić, G. Cinque, F. Fernandez-Alonso, J.C. Tan*, “Identifying the Role of Terahertz Vibrations in Metal-Organic Frameworks: From Gate-Opening Phenomenon to Shear-Driven Structural Destabilization” Physical Review Letters 113, 215502 (2014). [DOI:]

J.C. Tan, B. Civalleri, C.C. Lin, L. Valenzano, R. Galvelis, P.F. Chen, T.D. Bennett, C. Mellot-Draznieks, C.M. Zicovich-Wilson and A.K. Cheetham, “Exceptionally Low Shear Modulus in a Prototypical Imidazole-Based Metal-Organic Framework Material”, Physical Review Letters 108, 095502 (2012). [DOI:]

J.C. Tan and A.K. Cheetham, “Mechanical Properties of Hybrid Inorganic-Organic Framework Materials: Establishing Fundamental Structure-Property Relationships”, Chem. Soc. Rev. 40, 1059-1080 (2011). [DOI: 10.1039/C0CS00163E]

A full listing of research papers is available on GoogleScholar



P3 and A3 tutorials: structures, materials and solid mechanics

B8 Composites

C3 Deformation of Polymers

DPhil Opportunities

Two fully-funded DPhil Studentships in Nanoengineering of Smart Materials are available to UK/EU applicants. Click here for full details and to apply.